This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Food City Dirt Race
Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track
Format: 0.5-mile dirt oval
The Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track makes its second appearance on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule this week for the third consecutive short-track race for the teams and drivers. Richmond and Martinsville were the two races leading up to this week's race with Denny Hamlin and William Byron capturing victories. The new generation of car contributed to significantly different racing a week ago at Martinsville. The race featured very few cautions and was dominated by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Byron. That different style of race could suggest similar unknowns for this week's battle on the dirt. Not only is the car new, but this is just the second time the series is tackling Bristol's dirt surface. Additionally, after dealing with a finicky surface for last year's debut, NASCAR moved the race from the afternoon to the night. The cooler temperature is expected to produce a better racing surface with less dust in an effort to promote passing and closer racing.
Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track
- Number of races: 1
- Winners from pole: 0
- Winners from top-5 starters: 0
- Winners from top-10 starters: 1
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
- Fastest race: 46.313 mph
Previous 10 Bristol Dirt Winners
2021 - Joey Logano
Last year's visit to Bristol's dirt track was a battle of track position. The race featured just five different leaders through its 253 total laps. Martin Truex Jr. led the most with a total of 126 laps spent out front. Passing was difficult last year, and no one is really sure how the new car and adjusted race time this season will affect that. What teams do know, though, is that track position is critical. Getting drivers off of pit road quicker than others is the best chance to move forward, and getting the lead could leave cars out front for a significant stretch. Some of the most highly rated drivers on dirt were eliminated early in last year's race. Just having them survive to contend this year could produce an entirely different show, too. Qualifying heats will again set the field for the main event Sunday night. Those heats and the lineup for Sunday's race may be the most important factors for fantasy players to consider when choosing their rosters.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kyle Larson (DK $11,200, FD $14,000) was one of the favorites to watch in NASCAR's debut dirt race last season but an early crash left him out of the fight. He is one of the favorites again this weekend with good reason. He is one of the most accomplished racers on dirt in the series and should be one of the drivers most at home on this surface. Truex (DK $9,600, FD $11,000) showed his dirt skills last season, winning the Truck race and then leading 126 laps of the Cup race. He won the first stage last season and ultimately finished 19th. Daniel Suarez (DK $8,300, FD $8,500) also led a significant number of laps in this race last season. He finished fourth and has the team and equipment that could get him a long-awaited win this week. Kevin Harvick (DK $8,100, FD $8,000) doesn't have the most lengthy dirt resume, but he has raced on the surface quite a few times. He raced in the Truck Series last season to help prepare him for the Cup event. He finished 19th in Cup and 15th in the Truck race on the surface. More importantly, though, he and his team have found some recent success with the new car and appear to be close to a win. Considering Austin Dillon's (DK $7,400, FD $6,300) dirt experience, his DraftKings price is a bargain. He won the Truck dirt race at Eldora in 2013, will be doing double-duty in the Truck this weekend, and could be a dark horse to watch this week after a third-place run at Martinsville. Finally, J.J. Yeley (DK $5,100, FD $2,000) can use this week's race to outperform his usual expectations. He finished 28th in this race last year and is an accomplished dirt racer and a former USAC Triple-Crown winner.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Like in last year's race, Christopher Bell (DK $10,800, FD $13,000) will be one of the favorites for Sunday. Bell is an accomplished dirt racer with a USAC national midget championship and a Truck Series win at Eldora. He is winless so far this season and could use a good Bristol showing to build some positive momentum. Kyle Busch (DK $9,000, FD $9,300) can win on any surface and in any type of machine. He is one of the most flexible drivers in the series with plenty of dirt racing experience. He finished 17th in last year's race but led seven laps. If he and his team can fix the track position challenges this year, they have a great shot at a victory. Busch's teammate Hamlin (DK $8,700, FD $9,000) already has a win to lean on, but he was also the third-place finisher in last year's dirt race. He had a shot to go for the win in the overtime restart, but his move didn't work. He'll be coming with a different plan of attack this year. The man who took advantage of Hamlin's missed move was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,700, FD $8,300). He was last year's runner up and has typically outperformed at Bristol regardless of its surface. Another Eldora winner in this field is Bubba Wallace (DK $7,500, FD $7,500). He was a top-10 contender for much of last year's race before contact with Stenhouse left him with a 21st-place finish. The final selection of the higher-risk lineup goes to Ty Dillon (DK $6,200, FD $4,500). Dillon finished 26th after starting 39th in last year's race. He thinks his dirt-racing background gives him a legitimate shot at winning this week.